A few years ago (2008 or 2009), I played Assassin's Creed on the Xbox 360. The experience was so unsatisfying (repetitive play, no closure to the story) that I vowed to never again play anything in the Assassin's Creed family of games (of which there have now been 15!) or anything produced by the Ubisoft studio. (Ubisoft had already been on thin ice with me after butchering a handful of Batman games and the sequels to Prince of Persia.)

Fast forward to this past summer when Microsoft began their "Games with Gold" program, giving free games to Xbox Live Gold Members each month. I feel compelled to play those games in order to maximize the return on my Xbox Live subscription. You can probably see where this is going. One of the free games was Assassin's Creed II.

Despite my misgivings, I downloaded the game and played it for awhile. It's more of the same. A fun set of mechanics stretched a little too thin and covered with a varnish of moronic conspiracy theory hogwash. Enjoyable enough for the price I paid. (I also get a kick out of the fact that this French-produced video game slanders Italians as a sex-obsessed bunch of hypocrites. It's good to know that American game developers aren't the only ones with xenophobic and sexist tendencies.)

I'd played the game for maybe 20 hours and was looking forward to some potential story closure in the near future. Maybe the hours invested years ago on Assassin's Creed would be payed off. (Would Kristen Bell and the murderous protagonist ever get it on?) Then, for no apparent reason, the game deleted my save file. Poof. All gone. Like it never even existed. No closure for Walter.

Fool me twice, shame on me, I suppose, but that was the last straw, Ubisoft. I will never buy one of your games again. I'm sure you don't care about just one gamer like me, but I'm not writing this for you. I'm writing this for me, to remind me the next time I even consider buying one of your games that it won't be worth the cost. Your games are just one more hassle I don't need in my life.

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To be continued...


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